Felicia M. Sullivan is a community advocate, educator and researcher passionately committed to transformation towards a more just society. For 25 years, Dr. Sullivan has worked to build individual, organizational, and community capacity to be more civically engaged and empowered. She has strived to do this through authentic communication, compassion and connection.

Dr. Sullivan is currently Associate Research Director at JFF working with its Students at the Center team.  She is currently working with statewide education leaders in New Hampsure in a research practice partnership to understand the diffusion and scale of deeper learning outcomes using student centered teaching practices.   She uses multiple research methods designed to inform policy and practice towards greater equity for marginalized and disconnected Americans. She is also an associate lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Boston teaching in multiple colleges on campus and online.

Prior to her work at JFF,  Dr. Sullivan served for six years as Senior Researcher at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and worked in community-based practice primarily in multi-ethnic, urban settings developing innovative programs for diverse community needs through organizations dedicated to arts & culture, social justice, community communication, and education. She received her doctorate of philosophy in public policy from the John W. McCormack Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Boston and holds a Masters of Arts in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research.

Dr. Sullivan’s home and personal civic work is centered in Lowell, MA. She is known as an inclusive leader who passionately believes in the potential of people and the realization of a better society.

Current research interests:

  • Institutional design, organizational theory and links to political participation
  • Youth development and out-of-school-time programming
  • Self organization and peer learning networks
  • Human development and organizational learning in community-based settings
  • The social impact of science and technology development
  • Media, communications, arts and culture for community development, civic engagement and political action

Key Skills: research, analysis & assessment; strategic planning; program development, management & evaluation; training & curriculum development; technology planning & communications; fiscal management & fund development; strong written & verbal communication skills; creative problem-solving ability; ability to think in global integrative terms

Key Values:

  • Connection – fostering networks that build collective strength
  • Capacity – building organizational and individual skills that are able to sustain and grow for long-term success
  • Cognition – creating environments where knowledge and exploration are driving forces for innovation
  • Creativity – supporting intuitive processes that yield new ways of doing and achieving
  • Compassion – working from a stance of tolerance and respect for all